FSU College of Music presents the University Musical Associates Concert series

The full University Chamber Choir joins forces in multiple chorales in St. John’s Passion
The full University Chamber Choir joins forces in multiple chorales in "St. John’s Passion."

The Florida State University College of Music University Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir presents “St. John Passion,” a premier work by Johann Sebastian Bach based on the Passion Story from the Gospel of St. John, 7:30 p.m. on April 9 in the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

This performance is part of the University Musical Associates Concert Series (UMA), a selection of 12 to 15 ticketed performances that take place over the course of an academic year showcasing choirs, orchestras, bands and jazz ensembles.

“Bach’s setting continues to move audiences with its beautiful melodies and interplay of solo arias with group chorales and orchestral offerings,” said Greg Jones, associate dean for the College of Music. “Eric Rieger and Evan Jones from the FSU voice faculty lead an emotional telling of Christ’s story as we approach Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday in the religious calendar.”

“St. John Passion” first premiered on Good Friday in 1724 at St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig, Germany.

“This is a monumental setting of the Christian passion story,” said Michael Hanawalt, associate professor of choral conducting and music education at FSU and the conductor for this event. “In John’s gospel, Christ is portrayed as being inherently divine, unencumbered with the vices of humanity.”

This is contrasted with Bach’s portrayal of humans, which are at times depicted as being angry and vengeful, said Hanawalt. Bach’s “turba” choruses portray a crowd hatefully calling for Christ’s crucifixion.

“The result is a highly dramatic and varied work that tells the passion story in a diverse and compelling way,” Hanawalt said.

The UMA has served as the patron group for the FSU College of Music performance programs for more than 30 years, supporting concerts and performances by students and faculty on campus as well as prestigious conferences, competitions and other events outside of Tallahassee. The UMA also helps bring in guest artists who are world-class performers and scholars.

“For all, this reflective and stirring music offers a chance to experience live in the exquisite Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, the power and beauty that makes Bach so relevant, even centuries after his time,” Jones said.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit tickets.music.fsu.edu.